H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: day three


by Maggie Stark, Art Student

Day three of sewing!

Today started fabulously with our first African Safari! Guess who saw elephants? Oh yes, this girl! Along with two families of elephants, we saw kudu (like African deer), baboons, wort hogs (yes, Pumba!), water buck, impala, vervet monkeys and a buffalo. It is the rainy season here, which means the foliage is super lush. It was quite the treat to see all that we did.

After the wild safari, we took our tin boat across the Shire river to the trucks located within the park. We all piled in the Land Cruzer heading toward Nanthomba Primary School for our after school sewing session. We passed by students on the road, and they started to sprint in excitement after us.

Molly and I led our last session on making small tote bags while the others taught patches and zippers. After our lessons, we decided to mend the children’s clothes, which then turned into an all out mending session. Amy (from H.E.L.P. Malawi) then started the Heart Riot of Liwonde! She had such an honest intention on cutting a small heart out of fabric and pinning it on a child’s shirt… which then turned into every Malawian youth in a one mile radius saying, “Madame! Madame!” – asking for a heart pin too. It was an utterly amazing experience to bring such joy simply by stitching a pant leg or threading a new button to a little boy’s shirt.

By the end of it, we were all sweaty and desperately needing a Fanta. Has anyone else mentioned HOW good orange Fanta tastes here? It’s scientifically proven it’s the best – quote Jillian Wolstein.

Molly and I relaxed with a riveting game of Bao – basically hardcode Manchala. We ended our night eating dinner in candlelight under a baobab tree as it lightly sprinkled rain around us. It was a table of laughter and jokes from the day. Basically the best way to end a long Malawian day.

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